Guy Kettelhack’s poetry & ephemera
We Americans are not big on poetry – as far as we know. As kids we delight in the rhythm and rhyming sounds of Humpty Dumpty, Three Blind Mice, the alphabet song, to name a few. But by the time we reach high school, most of us have a hard time with Dickinson, Wordsworth, and Milton, and we sort of give up on the whole thing and will say, if asked, that poetry is not really our thing.
I may not be a typical American in this regard. For me, there have always been some poems hard to ignore, recalled with pleasure in fact. Blake’s “Tiger, tiger burning bright, In the forests of the night.” Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Robert Burns’s “Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!”
Every morning I get an email from the poet Guy Blake Kettelhack (yes, that’s his real middle name) with a poem, sometimes two—by turns devilishly cleaver, provocative, quixotic, funny, complex, outlandish, simple, and other difficult to name qualities. What’s more, for over a year he’s taken to accompanying his poems with color drawings. Every day! I love getting these emails, but the poems aren’t for private consumption only. Guy blogs his poem and drawings and has been blogging his poems for years.
Guy is the author or co-author of more than 30 non-fiction books, including “Dancing Around the Volcano—Decoding the Enigma of Gay Men and Sex: Freeing Our Erotic Lives,” a work I stumbled on and found fascinating shortly before I happened to meet Guy in person one night at a club we were simultaneously populating. He worked with the inimitable Quentin Crisp on “The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp” and did several interviews with that entertaining man of bon mots.
Obviously, I am a fan of Guy’s work. Following, the drawing and its accompanying poem from September 16, 2010.